[A DISCUSSION DRAFT OF EXISTING AND POTENTIAL COMMUNITY WEB PORTAL FEATURES]
Potential Website Functions and Features:
Thursday, October 28, 2010
People and organizations with blog posting rights may create blog entries. Users may subscribe to the blog postings of a particular user (i.e. person or organization). Blogs are also organized topically. Users can subscribe and search by blog category. It is possible for users to create an RSS feed. Blog postings differ from other types of content in that they are capable of being accessed via RSS feeds, and subscriptions may be by individual blog posters and topical categories. At present, all the blog postings may be accessed from the website front page, and by going to the general blog page, which shows topical navigation structure. Users may comment on blog posts, but the blog structure does not lend itself to following a discussion thread. Forums are used for that purpose. Blogs can be posted to a particular Group or Groups, and / or published to the public.
The forums have been organized topically. All registered users have the right to post in Forums. PlacerSustain Members are eligible to have a custom forum created for their particular group, business, or oganization. It is possible to create sub-forums. Access to custom forums can be limited to certain types of users. Forums provide a means of on-going communication and collaboration between affiliated users, e.g. arranging for meeting times, circulating draft documents, etc.
This content type provides for the posting of news items that are displayed on the front page of the website. Similar in nature to blog postings.
4. Community Sustainability Portal
The site provides for a directory of community organizational partners, organizational information, and links to organizational websites. Thus, the website can perform the function of a common access portal to numerous organizations that allows these organizations to publish information visible to a combined audience of users with interests that cut across organizational silos, i.e. cross-networking opportunities.
The Community Portal would include a searchable organizational directory that would contain expanded information about mission, programs, services, etc.
5. Consultant Directory
A searchable directory of private, non-profit, and governmental assistance services that relate to healthy community, economy, and environment. The scope of services is broad, and would include such specialties as green building design, low impact development engineering design, small business development assistance, etc.
Registered users may create a Group which is either open to anyone who wishes to join, or where membership in the group is managed by a group administrator. The person who creates the group is the default administrator. Most website content can be posted so that only members of a particular group may view the material. Administrators of a group can broadcast emails to all group members. Flexible group formation allows affinity associations to be freely formed, and is a method of filtering content for particular group associations.
Registered users may create event postings which are searchable through a calendar display format. Categories of types of events may be flexibly configured. For example, events that relate to a particular organization, topic, or geographic community.
8. Member Directory
All members may create a Member Page that allows for the flexible publication of expanded profile type information about the member. The Member Directory is searchable. The Member directory provides a promotional opportunity for Members describe their goals, services, interests, skills, contact information, and so on.
9. Green Jobs Database
A local green jobs online listing database searchable by the public. Job postings by registered Placer County organizations and businesses.
10. Community Projects / Volunteer Center
An on-line listing of community projects for which volunteer help is needed, and offers by volunteers who would like to be of service. Generated by local agencies, non-profits, and citizens.
11. Open Wiki
In addition to a topically structured knowledgebase that is generated by authorized users, the Open Wiki is a self organizing wiki available to all registered users. The Open Wiki can be a community generated information resource for all types of sustainability related information. The structure and management of the Open Wiki is created by the users with limited stewardship by PlacerSustain.
12. Blog Aggregator
The website has a blog aggregator which automatically imports the blog postings of other websites so that the posts may be read without leaving the PlacerSustain site. Participating organizations and individuals are eligible for this kind of integration which strengthens the Community Portal function and increases exposure for participating blogs.
Custom Polls may be posted on the site that are open to voting by users.
14. Surveys and Questionnaires
Custom questionnaires may be created and responses may be analyzed. A flexible tool available to users. Results may be exported.
15. BuyLocal and Green Commerce Directory
A commerce portal with BuyLocal branding developed in cooperation with interested partners--online, searchable, business branding campaign, public outreach. A sub-set of the BuyLocal directory could be identification of "Green" related businesses, and coordination with various Green Certification programs.
16. Sustainability Practice Knowledgebase
Self-organizing development of a repository of sustainability practices, links to practice resources, technical assistance, case studies of what businesses, individuals, and organizations are actually doing, what's working and what isn't. Contributions from users, consultants, governmental and non-profit organizations that provide technical assistance, educational institutions, and people in the community who are doing the work.
17. Web Resources
An organized database of web resources by topical category.
A searchable database of published information related to sustainability.
19. Site Hosting
The ability to host multiple sites with a shared user database, built in access to community portal, and based on a basic content management template to facilitate ease of use. A means of providing organizations with a separate web identity, yet integrated in to the overall community portal.